More investment in math and science education and a more liberal policy toward skilled foreign workers are crucial if America is to avoid losing its competitive edge in the world, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently told Congress.The shortage of scientists and engineers is so acute that "we must do both: reform our education system and our immigration policies. If we don't American companies simply will not have the talent to innovate and compete," Gates said in testimony to the House Science Committee.
Gates outlined four goals he said the country must pursue: improving educational opportunities in science and technology, revamping the visa system for highly skilled workers, increasing federal funding for basic scientific research and providing incentives for private-sector research and development.
The toughest sell was the position of Gates, and others in high-tech industries, that Congress raise the current cap of 65,000 H-1B visas, non-immigrant visas that allow employers to hire foreign nationals with specific skills. The program also allows another 20,000 visas for foreign nationals receiving masters or doctoral degrees from U.S. universities.
Source: CRM Daily, http://www.crm-daily.com
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